World Champion high jumper Mariya Lasitskene criticises Russian Athletics over doping

Mariya Lasitskene
High jumper Mariya Lasitskene won the World Championship in 2017 as a neutral athlete and will aim to defend her title in Qatar next month

Russian high jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene has criticised her country's suspended athletics federation for not doing enough to gain reinstatement.

Lasitskene, 26, won her title in 2017 as a neutral athlete after Russia was barred from international competition in 2015 for state-sponsored doping.

She said: "The situation bothers me because I don't see any movement.

"It gives the impression we are trying to hang on, that we will be cleared and then just go on like before."

Russia's status will be discussed on 23 September, days before the start of the World Championships in Qatar where Lasitskene is preparing to defend her title after remaining unbeaten internationally for more than a year.

She is the only Russian track and field athlete to currently hold a world title, which she won in London, and added: "We need to understand that things have to change drastically."

Some Russians with no doping history, such as Lasitskene, are allowed to compete under a neutral flag, but they are subject to more stringent anti-doping tests than athletes from other countries.

Russia have been banned by the International Association of Athletics' Federations (IAAF) since a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) showed evidence of mass doping.

That suspension was extended in June as Russian athletics chiefs had failed to satisfy the demands of a 'roadmap' to reinstatement.

Their status will be up for discussion at a meeting of the IAAF Council, but Lasitskene is not convinced they have done enough to be welcomed back into the international fold.

"If there is still a white flag next to my name then their reinstatement efforts are not good enough," she said.

"Cleaning up your own house would help to put order in the federation, the national team. That should have been done a long time ago."

Sergei Bakulin
Disgraced former world champion 50km walker, Sergei Bakulin, pictured here in 2011, has been banned for eight years for a second doping offence

Lasitskene's comments come after race walker Sergey Bakulin, a former world champion, was banned for eight years on Wednesday for doping.

It was a second ban for Bakulin and will run until April 2027, effectively ending the 32-year-old's career.

Bakulin was originally banned for three years and two months in January 2015 by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) but that was increased by the IAAF and saw him stripped of his 50km world title from 2011.

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